XVI

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"Would things be easier if there was a right way?" Charlie sang, swaying her lips to the song as she worked diligently on a blue Mustang. "And so I fall in love just a little, oh a little bit, everyday with someone new."

Frank was hypnotized. He sat in the back on his break with Drake, Frank practically gawking at her. "Didn't know she could do that," Drake commented, Frank quick to punch him in the shoulder, silencing him. "You could just say she's off limits, Frank."

"She's off limits, Drake," Frank said, not peeling his eyes off her. She was gorgeous. Absolutely everything about her. 

Drake stared at his friend and chuckled. "So, is this what it's like when you're in love?" he asked him, laughing even harder when Frank turned to glare at him. "You practically claimed her already, none of the other boys dare to go near her Frank. They see how you act around her."

"I ain't in love," he grumbled, standing to his feet.

"'Cause God knows I fall in love  just a little, oh a little bit," She continued to sing, her hips moving fluidly with the beat of the song.

He didn't even know the first thing about being in love, or love for that matter, so how could he know that that's what it was? Frank shook his head, walking around her to get to his station. However, though, she began moving, nearly running into him, and his hands shot out and grabbed her waist as a reflex, both of them freezing in their place. "Watch where you're going woman," he said aggressively, his voice low and extremely deep, a massive blush spreading across her face. 

He continued walking around her, his hands leaving her waist. She remained there, frozen stiff, still feeling his hands on her waist. She gulped and cleared her throat, trying to calm her racing heart. She had never been so affected by a man's touch before. His hands were large and warm and they cupped her love-handles perfectly; she shivered at the memory. 

"Aight, when's the wedding?" Drake called, causing both Charlie and Frank to glare at him, Charlie's face beet red. Drake laughed happily, shaking his head at them. "You can cut the tension in here with a chainsaw."

"I'll cut your dick off with a chainsaw if you don't shut the fuck up," Frank snapped, Drake still laughing as she walked over to his station.

Charlie chuckled lightly as well, amused by Frank's comment. "The fuck's so funny?" he snapped at her, huffing and puffing, only causing her to laugh even harder.

"You act like a little kid," she laughed, looking over at him. "It's cute."

Just like that, explosions. Frank's heart was obliterated. Surely, this must be what it was like. To be in love. He'd never reacted this way to a woman before. Never been so vulnerable around one before. She was a different breed, she had to be. Who else would call a six foot seven man with a creepy mask cute?

"I love you."

The room went deathly silent. Charlie's eyes widened. Drake's head snapped over to him. Frank looked at Charlie, completely oblivious to the words that came out of his mouth. His heart was speaking, he just said it without even thinking. He snapped out of his trance and fled from the Garage, throwing himself on his bike and speeding away, as far away as he could get from there. 

His heart was pounding in his chest, he was breathing deeply, panicking.

"I love you."

The painful memories of the accident came rushing back, hurting him. He had told himself, after that day, that he'd never love anyone again. Whether it was an intimate love or a love of friends or family, he told himself he'd never get attached.  

When he was six he got into a car accident with his parents. They were killed on impact and his mom had turned to him and told him he loved him before she died. He'd never been in so much pain before. He knew that if he ever did love someone again, he'd be disrespecting his mother for he couldn't even tell her he loved her back before she passed.

He sped down the road and stopped at a restaurant that overlooked the beach called Grandma's Kitchen, it being the one place he can turn to when he needed it.

"Well, about damn time you come and visit me," said Grandma, the owner of the restaurant and oldest member of the club, well, oldest retired member. However, she had stopped and stared up at him, her hands cupping the sides of his mask to get a better look at his eyes. "What happened love?"

"I broke my promise."

*

"Did he...?" Charlie said breathlessly, standing still in her spot, her heart feeling as if it was going to stop any second. 

"He did," Drake answered just as shocked as her. 

Charlie blinked a few times, snapping out of her trance. "Where did he go?" she asked, rushing to the entrance of the garage to look up and down the street. 

"Beats me," Drake sighed. "He'll probably avoid you the rest of the night. Hell, maybe even the rest of your life."

Charlie was running after his comment, running down the sidewalk in the direction she had seen him go. She wanted to find him. She wanted to say it back. She would've never expected him to ever have the same feelings, for him to ever say it first. She had already believed she'd live with her feelings and die with them, but now there seemed to be a chance.

He loves me.

The only problem was she knew not where to find him. She didn't even know where to look for him, but she kept running. She ran, her legs taking her straight towards the ocean and no where else. She stopped just before the road ended, where the ocean sat a couple hundred feet from her, and caught her breath, staring up at the moon. "Shit!" she cursed to herself, running her hands through her hair and pacing back and fourth. 

However, she stopped. She stared at a very familiar motorcycle, parked in front of a restaurant called Grandma's Kitchen. Without hesitating, she entered and looked around the entire place frantically.

"Are you meeting someone miss?" asked the host, catching her attention. 

"Yes, I'm looking for a very tall man, black jumpsuit, and a--"

"Stupid mask?" said an old woman's voice, causing Charlie to look over at her. The woman smiled happily at her. "So you're the lucky lady, huh?" Charlie only blinked at her. "I'm Grandma, owner of this place. Frank's got a special place in my heart, he's pretty shaken right now. He's out on the balcony. Go to him."

Without wasting even a second, she moved to the back of the restaurant and entered the balcony, seeing him standing there, leaning on the railing and watching the calm ocean. For a minute, she just stood there and stared at him, no longer sure of what she should say. "Frank--"

"Don't," he said instantly, not turning to look at her. "I don't want to hear what you have to say. I don't even know why I said it. It just came out."

Charlie gulped, a sudden ache spreading through her heart. She cleared her throat. "If you didn't have any feelings, it wouldn't have come out."

"I had a promise I was supposed to keep and saying that broke it," he said, confusing her.

"A promise?"

"To my mom," he said rather quiet, Charlie's eyes widening. This was the first time she heard Frank mention anything about his personal life. "When she died, the last thing she said was I love you and she said it to me but I couldn't even say it back. So, I promised myself I wouldn't ever get to that with anyone, whether its family, friends, or someone else."

Her heart broke even more and she fought the urge to cry. "So, did you make the promise because you couldn't say it back quick enough?"

He said nothing. Absolutely nothing. Charlie stepped closer to him, placing her hand on his forearm, his gaze finally turning to her. "Frank," she said, looking him in the eye. "I love you."



Song:
Hozier- Someone New

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